Brisket Question - Rest Period and Bark

Discussion in 'Meat Selection and Processing' started by dukeburger, May 3, 2015.

  1. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    So, I plan on doing a packer next weekend, my third one, and I'll be smoking it at 250F without foiling.

    My question is about the rest period: Since I'm taking the extra time to not foil for that great bark, won't the rest in the cooler prior to slicing soften that bark I worked so hard to obtain? Does a no-foil brisket need a rest period?


  2. bregent

    bregent Smoking Fanatic

    >Does a no-foil brisket need a rest period?

    IMO, briskets don't require a rest period. The reason most folks do rest in the cooler is a matter of timing the meal. Because they take so long and are unpredictable, you typically aim for a finishing time several hours before meal time, just in case it takes long. When they finish early, you need to keep it hot, hence putting it in the cooler. If you're serving right out of the smoker, you slice right away, or maybe rest in the open for 15 minutes. 

    >won't the rest in the cooler prior to slicing soften that bark I worked so hard to obtain?

    Resting in the cooler with soften the bark, but IMO, that's not a bad thing - it's still bark. But if you want it to not soften at all, then you'll need to serve it up right off the smoker.
  3. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Usually when the brisket first comes off the smoker that bark is a bit tough and dry (tends to happen after hanging out in the heat for 13+ hrs. [​IMG]) , so having the bark soften up a tad during the resting period actually makes it more edible.

    Also like any big piece of meat you need to give it time for the juices to redistribute, otherwise if you cut into it right away all the juice just flows out onto your cutting board and the meat becomes dry. I usually rest my briskets for at least 1 hr. minimum, the bark is still very present, but rather than being crunchy and hard to chew it is now tender but still very flavorful.

  4. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks for the input guys.

    Nice brisket Johnny! [​IMG] Hope mine looks half as good!

  5. aggie94

    aggie94 Smoking Fanatic

    JIR that's a beautiful brisket!  I use to skip the rest period on briskets because I was impatient, but my briskets would end up tough.  Now I rest them 2 hrs wrapped in foil and put in a cooler.  Guess what, they are tender now, so I think that resting really helps them. 
  6. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes, Rod is true . Let it go the hole cook on the smoker (if you can) . Conditions may arise that you need  to finish it in the Oven , no shame.

    Have fun and . . .
  7. Hey guys stupid question but I imagine when you say you put it in a cooler you wrap it in tin foil and there is no ice in the cooler?
  8. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You are correct it's just like a faux cambro.

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